Before we answer ‘Is Automation a necessary Evil?’, there is a bigger question ‘Is Automation necessary?’ Is Automation necessary? Manual testing cannot be replaced. For many software product, manual testing is a must before the products first release in production…
Before we answer ‘Is Automation a necessary Evil?’, there is a bigger question ‘Is Automation necessary?’
Is Automation necessary?
Manual testing cannot be replaced. For many software product, manual testing is a must before the products first release in production environment. Necessity is the mother of all inventions and Change is the only thing that is constant! These two sayings fit really well to today’s software world.
Even after a product is well tested manually, there are several reasons why one must have automation testing software and platform in place. This framework should contain tests that cover UI testing, functional and the core selling features of the product. Below are few are of the many reasons which justify testing automation:
- New platform support: You want to shorten your go-to-market time to acquire customer base earlier than your competitor’s. In order to achieve this, you need to test your product on new platform sooner. Testing Automation Suite will help you to shorten your go to market time. So you need testing automation to reduce your time to go to market on new platform.
- Enhancements, New releases: Once you have released a product, you and your customer will discover various ways to enhance your product. But as you add new features you need to make sure, the previous ones have not broken. Automation of testing will help to reduce the effort and increase ROI.
- Service Packs: Various companies release service packs or software patches to fix the issues in their platform. Although noting changes in product, the platform changed. You need to make sure the product is still intact and there are no issues because of patches. Testing Automation is great solution in this case. There is no change in your product, so just use automated testing to ensure that everything works fine.
- Performance testing: Once your product is functionally stable and you can predict that your customer base is going to increase several folds, Performance testing for your product becomes a must in this case.
Once you have automation in place that can perform functional testing and the selling features, and then if there is a change in the product you only need to test that much change manually and can test the rest with your automation testing. This saves a lot of time before product releases and availability in market.
It also helps to reduce cost. You don’t need skilled automation experts to run the automated test cases.
Is Automation a necessary evil?
Automation helps to reduce time to market and increases product reliability with reduced costs, then why would it be evil?
The main advantage of manual testing is Ad-hoc testing. An experienced tester would look for new ad-hoc tests while testing the product manually. This increases the probability for bug tracing. This is however true only till your product is relatively new. Investments into Automations are for the future. Before deciding on Automation testing you need to be utmost sure that the effort put into automation would be paid off in the long run. The following would help you decide whether or not to automate:
- Expensive, Maintenance cost: Automation tools and expertise come expensive. The maintenance of the same is also expensive.
- Coverage: You cannot test UI colors and even for that matter certain complex features through automation. Thoroughly check the product for such areas.
Even if the cost is justified, you need to be very careful while checking automation results. Be alert for suspicious results. Do not believe the results blindly. Check for failed test cases. Sometimes the entire automation suite fails for trivial reasons like values set for global variables etc. Extra care needs to be put here.
We can conclude that if you have a good insight for the future of your product, you will appreciate automation and not find it ungodly or evil!